Paraphyseal changes on bone-age studies predict risk of delayed radiation-associated skeletal complications following total body irradiation
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Children undergoing total body irradiation (TBI) often develop delayed skeletal complications. Bone-age studies in these children often reveal subtle paraphyseal changes including physeal widening, metaphyseal irregularity and paraphyseal exostoses.
To investigate whether paraphyseal changes on a bone-age study following TBI indicate a predisposition toward developing other radiation-associated skeletal complications.
Materials and methods
We retrospectively reviewed medical records and bone-age studies of 77 children receiving TBI at our institution between 1995 and 2008 who had at least 2 years of clinical follow-up and one bone-age study after TBI. We graded bone-age studies according to the severity of paraphyseal changes. All documented skeletal complications following TBI were tabulated. Kendall’s tau-b was used to examine associations between degree of paraphyseal change and development of a skeletal complication.
Kendall’s tau analyses showed that physeal widening and metaphyseal irregularity/sclerosis (tau = 0.87, P < 0.001) and paraphyseal exostoses (tau = 0.68, P < 0.001) seen on bone-age studies were significantly positively associated with the development of delayed skeletal complications following TBI. Thirty percent of children with no or mild paraphyseal changes developed a delayed skeletal complication, compared with 58% of children with moderate paraphyseal changes and 90% of children with severe paraphyseal changes.
Paraphyseal changes identified on a bone-age study correlate positively with the development of delayed skeletal complications elsewhere in the skeleton following TBI.
KeywordsBone age Exostoses Total body irradiation Periphyseal Children
Conflicts of interest
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